Friday, 6 November 2009

Blindness: DVD Review

Blindness: DVD Review

Cast: Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Alice Braga, Danny Glover, Gael Garcia Bernal
Rating: 18
Released by Roadshow Entertainment
From director Fernando Meirelles, who did The Constant Gardner, Blindness is a thriller with an intriguing premise and some genuinely unsettling moments.
As the film opens at a busy intersection, a man stops dead in his car, claiming he can no longer see. Helped by those around him, the man ends up still without sight (he says he feels like he's swimming in milk with his eyes open) and in an A&E asking for help.
But within 24 hours of contact with this mysterious Patient Zero, all those who helped are struck blind - and suddenly without warning, an epidemic begins to sweep the world.
The initial carriers are placed in an isolation ward - the doctor who treated him (Ruffalo) is bundled off to an isolated hospital. However, the doc's wife (Julianne Moore) isn't affected and to make sure she's not separated from her loved one, she feigns blindness to be with him.
However, as the White Sickness (as it's monikered) spreads, more and more people find themselves in the hospital. As the numbers swell, a society begins to grow - and the situation brings out the worst in some...will the world come through the epidemic?
Blindness is a strange experience; initially compelling and a fascinating portrayal of what happens when society goes to hell in a hand cart, it becomes nasty and unsettling when the psychos on the ward come out.
Moore does well as the wife - her vision isolates her from those around her and also give her the insight into the horrors around; and while the ensemble cast are perfectly fine (though Danny Glover's wasted in his brief appearance), it's quite hard to offer up your sympathies to the afflicted as very few of them are likeable characters.
Given the subject matter, it's also quite cold emotionally to engage with the story - and you find your feelings are ones of repulsion and shock as the situation unfolds. But then, that's probably what Meirelles wanted you to feel. There's also a degree of frustration as there are no clear answers or solutions offered - however, as a study of a crumbling society, Blindness is a shocking, gut wrenching watch - it's just not a comfortable one.
Extras include a doco about the making of the film and deleted scenes.

Rating: 6/10

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